|English: RAIL CRANE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In any automated material handling system that includes a Storage/Retrieval (S/R) machine, fast and accurate material handling is extremely important. Machines must get from point A to point B in a timely manner. The speed of the system is directly proportional to how smooth and precise the crane rails are installed.
Crane rails provide the surface over which the S/R machines move back and forth, up and down the aisle. Over the course of a year, these machines will travel over the rail thousands of times. Because of this, crane rails require maintenance and/or replacement once the components start to wear or break down.
If the surface upon which the S/R machine travels is not in good condition, with joints that are not aligned side to side or top to bottom, they can provide unwanted vibrations or jolt expensive on-board electronics, which can be costly to repair.
Crane Rail Repair or Replacement Warning Signs
When crane rails begin to deteriorate, there are a number of warning signs. Being aware of these warning signs and fixing a problem correctly will keep other parts of the system from becoming damaged as well. If a damaged crane rail is not repaired quickly, electrical or mechanical components also start to wear and break down.
Inspect the aisle(s) for loose anchor bolts. When S/R machines travel over the anchor bolt locations repeatedly throughout the day, the bolts can begin to pull out of the floor. This often causes misalignment of the rail. The bolts can also work their way out and come in contact with the moving machine.
If there are unsupported sections of crane rail between anchors, depending upon the distance between supports, a bending of the crane rail between supports can occur. This will likely cause the machine to move up and down and work to pull the anchors out of the floor. If this sort of movement happens long enough, structural stresses can occur and machine components may crack.
One part of the crane rail that may wear down is the crown. As that happens, more surface area of the wheels comes into contact with the rail head, causing faster wear on the wheel and side guide rollers. In addition, worn spots will tend to form where the S/R machine(s) stop most often, like at the pickup and deposit end of the aisle. These spots could lead to more issues later on.
Fixing the Problem
In all these cases, depending upon the level of damage, the best option is to resurface or replace the damaged crane rails. The specific repair regimen depends on the size, weight, and type of the machine as well as the acceleration and deceleration speeds. Getting in touch with a professional to make repairs or replace broken parts ensures the machines will be up and running efficiently in no time.
Contact viastore systems, Inc. customer service for all your crane rail questions or for a quote on repair or replacement.
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